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Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Apr;293(1):41-54.

Interaction of Yersinia enterocolitica with epithelial cells: invasin beyond invasion.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Krankenhaushygiene, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 6, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The chromosomally encoded inv gene product is an outer membrane protein that is functionally expressed in the enteropathogenic Yersinia species Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Invasin protein is a high-affinity ligand for beta1 integrins and especially important in the early phase of intestinal infection for efficient translocation through the M cells located in the follicle-associated epithelium overlying the Peyer's patches. In addition to bacterial internalization, Yersinia invasin mediates proinflammatory epithelial cell reactions. Epithelial cells exhibit immunological functions including production of cytokines thereby signaling to the immune system the presence of invasive or pathogenic bacteria. Several other enteropathogenic bacteria also induce cytokine production in epithelial cells. However, the signaling pathways by which this reaction is accomplished differ for various pathogens. Binding of invasin-expressing Yersinia to beta1 integrin receptors of epithelial cells induces activation of a signal cascade involving Rac1, MAP kinases, activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB, and the subsequent production of chemotactic cytokines. The Yersinia invasin-triggered inflammatory epithelial cell reaction may lead to the recruitment of phagocytes followed by tissue disruption which may be part of the strategy of the pathogen to promote its dissemination in the host tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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